What is an Occupational Driver License in Texas?

What is an Occupational Driver License in Texas?

An Occupational Driver License (ODL), also referred to as an essential need license, is a special type of restricted Texas Driver License issued during a period of suspension or revocation. An ODL authorizes a Texas driver to operate any non-commercial motor vehicle in connection with work, school, or other essential duties.

  • How do I get a Texas Occupational Driver License?
    The first step towards obtaining an Occupational License is determining eligibility. Most Texas drivers are eligible to obtain an ODL, including individuals whose driving privileges have been suspended due to a DWI charge.
  • How to apply for a Texas Occupational Driver License
    To apply for an Occupational Driver License, a petition must be drafted and filed in the appropriate court of jurisdiction. The petition has a number of requirements, including a certified Texas driving record, and proof of SR22 insurance.

What is SR22 insurance in Texas?

Texas drivers who have suspended licenses due to certain violations are required to file an SR22 insurance form with the Texas Department of Public Safety.  This notifies the State of minimum liability requirements. An SR22 is a form filed by an insurance company on behalf of a driver, supplementing existing auto insurance.

  • Do I need SR22 in Texas for a Driver License?
    All Texas drivers are required to carry liability insurance that meet minimum requirements. However, if your license has been revoked or suspended, you will be required to obtain SR22 insurance in addition to regular insurance, in order to obtain a Texas Occupational Driver License.

Who qualifies for a Texas Occupational License?

Most individuals with a suspended or revoked license are eligible for an Occupational Driver License. If you have been charged with DWI in Texas, you may be able to avoid a Texas driver license suspension through an Administrative hearing. Learn more.

  • Can a CDL driver get an Occupational License in Texas?
    In Texas, commercial drivers are ineligible for an Occupational License. People with driving privileges suspended or revoked for outstanding Child Support or medical and physical reasons are also ineligible.

Occupational License Lawyer in San Antonio

If your license is suspended for outstanding traffic citations, DUI, or any other reason, it is imperative to obtain an Occupational License before driving. The stakes are too high, and the consequences can be time consuming and expensive.

  • How long does it take to get an Occupational License in Texas?
    It takes less than two weeks, on average, to obtain an Occupational Driver License in Bexar County. Time is of the essence when it comes to lost driving privileges.
  • How much does it cost to get an Occupational License in Texas?
    The total cost of an Occupational License varies. There are a number of fees associated with the reinstatement of driving privileges, from court costs to DPS fees.

How do you get an Occupational License in Texas?

The most efficient way to obtain an occupational license in Texas is to hire an experienced attorney. TPL has successfully restored driving privileges for clients in nearly every situation by working quickly to determine eligibility, gathering all necessary documentation, petitioning the appropriate court of jurisdiction, and promptly appearing before the court to obtain a judge’s signature on the order.

  • How long is a Texas Occupational License good for?
    A Texas ODL can track the duration of suspension. Longer periods of suspension may require extensions, however, if done correctly, coverage lapses can be mitigated or eliminated altogether.
  • Where can you drive with a Texas Occupational License?
    A Texas Occupational Driver License authorizes an individual to drive legally across all 254 Texas counties, subject only to the hour restriction, if any. Texas ODL’s can be used for a number of purposes, including work, school, family, and personal duties.


Trey Porter is a dynamic advocate, nationally recognized for his work in DWI Defense. He has been voted by his peers as a best lawyer in the field of Criminal and DWI Defense every year since 2015. Recognized by SuperLawyers, Mr. Porter has also been distinguished as a Top 40 Under 40 Criminal Defense Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association. Mr. Porter holds a Superb rating from AVVO, where attorneys are rated based on skillful litigation, client satisfaction, peer endorsements, and positive results. Learn more.

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Driving facts involved failing to maintain a single lane and speeding. Client refused breath test and forced law enforcement to obtain search warrant for blood. Blood test result was not used after challenge from Defense, and State waived and abandoned charge.



Client was a college student, worried about the collateral consequences of an alcohol offense. After negotiation and review of the traffic stop, the case was dismissed. Client received no criminal conviction. The charge was later expunged and deleted from client’s record.



Client was involved in minor accident. Client was at fault in accident. A young executive, client was concerned that a criminal conviction for DWI would result in termination. After review of the traffic stop, it was clear the officer lacked probable cause for arrest. State eventually dismissed DWI charge. Client received no criminal conviction.


DWI 2nd

Client, a military veteran, was facing up to one year in jail. State could not prove intoxication by alcohol, and was prepared to proceed on loss of use by marijuana. After challenging the State to prove that marijuana was ingested at or near time of driving, and that marijuana impaired client’s driving, the State dismissed the case on the day of trial.



Driving facts involved a false claim by police that taillight was out. After challenging the reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop, the State was forced to dismiss the case when video did not match police report. Client has since expunged arrest, and has no criminal record.



Client is a public school teacher and faced immediate termination upon conviction. The facts of the case were bad. State was unwilling to budge in negotiation, and matter was set for trial – the last shot at avoiding a conviction and preserving client’s livelihood. State was forced to dismiss on day of trial. Client has no criminal record, and has since expunged the DWI arrest.

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